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LA Angels All-Decade Team: Kole Calhoun Was More Than Mike Trout’s Sidekick

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 24: Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels in the dugout before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 24: Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels in the dugout before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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When LA Angels fans think of Mike Trout and his career thus far, it isn’t too long until our minds begin to wonder to his career-long running mate, Kole Calhoun.

And while that may be what we LA Angels faithful first knew Kole Calhoun as, it became obvious over the years he was so much more than that.

When Calhoun first came up as a the potential replacement for Torii Hunter in right field, he was just a young, scrappy outfielder whose bat hadn’t quite caught up to his elite defensive play. A eighth round pick in 2010, Calhoun didn’t have the same kind of name recognition a Mike Trout type player did as a first round pick.

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Nevertheless, Kole won fans over, and quickly at that. His defense alone was reason enough to watch Angels games, and his bat (albeit inconsistent) popped at times. He was the perfect running mate for Trout to start his career.

As the years went on though, Kole became more than just Mike Trout’s sidekick. Halo fans began accepting him for more than that and came to the slow realization that he was a cornerstone for the Angels. His spot in right field was as secure as any spot on the team, and the Angels remained loyal to him for years and years even as his bat went through dry seasons.

A huge reason for that was due to the other aspects of Kole’s game. Obviously his defense, whether it be his cannon of an arm or diving catches, made the team better. It also became obvious over the years that despite playing the game like a kid (as in, having fun), he had matured into one of the leaders of the clubhouse. Kole had grown up from a 24-year old fresh-out-of-college kid to a 31-year old father right before the eyes of Angels fans.

One of the best parts of Calhoun’s Angels career was his comeback in the second half of 2018 and into 2019. His awful batting line in the first few months of 2018 were well-documented, but his comeback was worth all of the frustration those months brought. Upon his return, Calhoun was one of the best hitters in baseball for the remainder of the 2018 season, and his 2019 campaign was vital to any success the Angels found.

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While his Angels career came to an end this year, there is simply no other player on the Angels who captured the hearts of Angels fans as collectively as Kole Calhoun, and all of us at Halo Hangout can’t wait to see what he does for his hometown Arizona Diamondbacks for the next two seasons.

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